Disclaimer: As usual, nothing is mine except this story, and it's not certainly not doing anything to pay off my credit cards.

Warnings: fluff, a touch of drama and m/m relationships. Out of character? Probably

Summary: Duo is throwing in the towel. He's fed up with dating and self-appointed matchmakers and decides to get out of the dating pool for good. He then receives an offer for help that is just too good to be true, This is a 1=2 get-together fluff fic with only a touch of drama, fulfilling my promise for something lighter.

The Deal
Part 2
by Dyna Dee

Duo's body was rigid, an instinctive reaction to Heero's sudden and very unexpected kiss, but he wasn't slow by any means. The slight dip gave away the game being played and he quickly decided to go along with Heero's ruse. Wrapping his arms more tightly around his friend's back, he returned the kiss with a slight moan in order to give the ladies watching them a very convincing show. Tilting his head to the side, his tongue tangoed with Heero's as he began mapping out the insides of his friend's mouth. Umm... he tasted like spearmint, and for a brief moment he dared to believed that the dreams he'd set aside a long time ago were now, amazingly, coming true.

Opening his eyes just slightly, he glanced over Heero's shoulder to see the women, standing shoulder to shoulder, mouths hanging open and looking at them with expressions akin to being shell shocked. From all appearances it seemed they had done a thorough job of dissuading two females from throwing themselves at Heero in the future. Duo pulled back and laughed a bit nervously. Feeling the heat in his cheeks, he looked at Heero from under the fringe of hair draped over his forehead and asked, "So, ya gonna invite me in or do we get it on in the hallway?" He was somewhat relieved to see his friend looking as flustered as he felt. He shifted his eyebrows in a suggestive manner, making sure the two women could see him do so and come to their own conclusions.

"Um... sure," Heero replied, letting Duo go so that he could stand on his own before he fished into his pockets for the key to his door. To continue the ploy, Duo hung on Heero's shoulder like a lover might and watched with some amusement as the other man's normally steady hand fumbled to get the key inside the lock. Ignoring the two appalled women, they basically tumbled into the apartment and quickly slammed the door shut behind them. With hands over their mouths and eyes watering from suppressed laughter, they listened to a few irate and un-lady-like words coming from the women in the hallway just before the sound of two slamming doors were heard.

Still trying to control his amusement at the whole situation, Duo kept his hand over his mouth as he followed Heero to the kitchen, where they both took a few minutes to rehash the now highly amusing scene.

"You can now consider yourself a free man and out of the closet," Duo said to his friend while sitting down at the table and wiping the moisture from his eyes.

Heero shrugged, his smile still in place as he pulled off his Preventer jacket and hung it over the back of the kitchen chair. "It was inspiration mixed with desperation. The moment I saw you standing by my door the solution to my nightly dilemma came to me. I realized those two would only leave me alone if they believed I was completely unavailable. By the way, thank you."

Heero turned to the refrigerator to remove a couple of bottles of beer and returned to the table, handing one to his friend before twisting the top off of his own.

"You're welcome," Duo replied with a grin, accepting the cold drink. "How long have they been vying for your attention like that?" The top of the bottle popped open with ease.

"Since I moved in here."

"A whole year!" Duo looked at his friend with disbelief. Heero didn't talk much about his social life, so he and the others just figured he didn't have one. "Why didn't you say anything?"

Heero shrugged, his usual answer to questions of a personal nature.

"Does this kind of thing happen often?"

"Yes, and not with just those two women. Relena was strategically parked outside the employee entrance this evening. That's why I was late in arriving home."

"I thought you two had that talk after the war." Duo studied his friend, who looked strangely uncomfortable.

"We did. I talked, she didn't listen, at least not completely. She knows I appreciate her as a friend and that I don't have any romantic feeling for her, so she's taken it upon herself to find me a suitable girlfriend by setting me up on dates with one social debutante after another. I can't seem to get it through her head that I have nothing in common with those girls. She intercepted me after work today to inform me that she has planned another excruciating evening for me this Saturday and, as usual, she won't take no for an answer."

"Just don't go."

Heero's eyes met his friend's. "She's already set it up with the other girl and I don't want to hurt whoever she is by standing her up. It's not her fault that Relena is a selective listener."

Both young men took a couple of long swallows from the cold bottles in their hands. Duo smacked his lips after lowering the glass container once more. "Looks like we both have the same problem, people trying to set us up. But at least we solved the fourth floor fantasy. Heero Yuy is officially off the dating market, for women, that is. At least that's what those two will think."

Heero thoughtfully stared at the label of his bottle. "That worked pretty well, didn't it?"

"Sure did," Duo responded with an amused grin. Then with a wishful sigh he added, "Wish my problem could be solved as easily."

Heero's eyes slowly rose, and in them Duo saw a spark of inspiration in their depths. "Maybe it can be." There was a long pause and a look of hesitation on Heero's face before he asked, "Would you be willing to do something similar to what we did in the hallway, just to throw off all the other well-intentioned match makers?"

Duo studied his friend's face, noting the hopeful expression he wore while waiting for his answer. If Heero meant what he thought he did, it would mean showing everyone he had a preference in gender. Well, he mentally shrugged, hadn't he come to that conclusion earlier that day?

"What about you, Heero? I mean, those two women believe you're gay. Would you be comfortable having other people, especially those we work with, believe that about you?"

Heero shrugged. "I don't see that it matters, since that's my sexual orientation anyway."

Duo's mouth dropped open, slowly closed, then opened again. "I thought you were strictly hetero."

"I never said I was."

"I'm sure you did," Duo answered back, sounding hesitant, his brow crinkled in thought.

"I'm positive I didn't. No one other than Trowa has ever asked me."

"Trowa knew?"

"I thought I just said that."

"Sorry," Duo muttered, feeling both flustered and dumb. How could he not have known something as important as his best friend's sexual orientation? If he had known, maybe things would have been different. The whole conversation had a surreal feeling to it. "I... I think I'm just surprised."

"You're bisexual, right?"

"Yeah, but I'm definitely leaning towards men as my preference. Women are just too..." He paused to come up with the right word and Heero took the opportunity to fill in the blank. "Emotional?"





"You hit the nail on the head, buddy, along with picky, hormonal, demanding, delusional and high maintenance."

Both young men shared a smirk at their mutual, somewhat over-exaggerated assessment of the opposite sex. Heero took another pull from his bottle of beer then looked his friend squarely in the eye. "Is your aversion to dating based on your always being set up with women?"

"No. You know I've dated both sexes, and don't get me wrong, I like women, how they smell and feel. And Hilde's the best of them; she's a great friend. It's not only that they're so damn hard to figure out, but also the blatant kissing-up, the hero worship thing that gets to me, and of the two sexes the women seem to be the worst. I just want to be liked and maybe one day loved for the person I am, not because I was a gundam pilot or the fact that I'm drop dead gorgeous." The cheeky grin showed his friend that he was kidding.

"Get over yourself," Heero laughed lightly, and Duo joined in. He couldn't help but like that happt sound coming from his friend.

"Seriously," Duo began again, trying to be serious. "I've gotten used to being alone and I kind of like it. Trowa and Quatre can't deal with that fact, and it seems to irritate Wufei to think I'm missing something in life. Don't you think the best part of being single is being able to make my own choices? I eat what I want, go to bed and get up when I like and my time is my own. I don't have to answer to anyone but myself. I'm happy enough with what I've got even though Quatre insists that I just don't know what I'm missing."

Heero nodded, indicating that he understood and agreed. "It's my belief that no one person can make you completely happy, that true happiness has to come first from within yourself."

"Exactly what I've been thinking." The smile on the braided man's face grew as he realized that Heero really did understand him. Yet as he gazed at his friend, a look of calculation flashed in Heero's eyes. It was something he had seen many times before when the other man was in the process of coming up with a solution to a problem. Curious, he asked, "What are you thinking?"

"Going back to what we were talking about, I think we should do something similar at work that we did in the hallway in order to get people to cease in their attempts to set you up on blind dates. As for Relena, I propose that we act as if we're dating, that we're a couple, and word will spread to her quickly enough. Presenting ourselves as a couple, everyone, including our friends, will stop bothering us with these unwanted dates. An added benefit is that we'll have someone to go to social gatherings with and a viable reason for fending off unsolicited sexual advances."

Duo thought his friend's suggestion over. It sounded like a good plan, but he was sure there had to be some drawbacks. "Sounds good, but there's sure to be some unforeseen complications. What if something happens... like you're not happy with me giving you a lap dance in the office?" The teasing glint in his eyes told Heero he wasn't entirely serious.

Pondering the first part of the question for a moment, Heero answered, "We'll talk often and set up contingency plans. Even couples have trouble now and then, so if he had a disagreement it should be considered a part of dating. We'll talk any problems out. Look at Quatre and Trowa. How many times have we had one of them on our sofa after an argument?"

"Plenty of times," Duo answered with a roll of his eyes. Really, Quatre and Trowa seemed made for each other, but there were times when their very different pasts caused friction between them. The other three pilots were relieved that those arguments were becoming more and more infrequent as the two lovers sorted out their differences through couple's therapy instead of relying on their less than experienced friends for advice.

Heero continued. "And if either of us decides the arrangement isn't working any longer, we'll simply call an end to it with no harm done."

"I think we should take it slow at first," Duo said, with ideas churning in his brain as well as a mental, self-preservation yellow flag waving wildly for him to tread cautiously. "If we just show up at work and make out in front of everyone like we did in the hallway, no one is going to believe it's real. I mean, we're good friends and all, but you've never shown any hint that you were interested in dating me, or anyone else for that matter. The guys will think we're pulling some practical joke or something."

"You're right," Heero said, nodding sagely. "Let's start slow. Tomorrow, I'll ask you out in front of the guys. Don't be too quick to say yes or they'll get suspicious after your dramatic exit today."

"Okay. That sounds like a plan. We'll begin to date, appear to be taking it slow and throw all the dating hound dogs off our scent 'cause we'll look and act involved." Duo's broad smile was contagious.

Heero returned it with one of his own and nodded. "I'll be your convenient excuse if you'll be mine." He held his hand out to the other man.

"It's a deal, Heero." Duo took the offered hand and shook it, and then for no real reason, an unexpected feeling of nervousness overcame him. He quickly removed his hand and watched Heero stand, the friendly smile lingering as he said, "I'll throw something together for dinner if you'd like to stay, then we can talk this out a bit more."

And so it was over sukiyaki, rice and sake that the two friends began to form a time line and approach for their upcoming ruse to finally get everyone off their backs about dating. All in all, it was a pleasant evening, which ended around ten p.m. when Duo suddenly realized how it was late and that they had to be at work in the morning.

Heero saw him to the door and with his hand on the doorknob he turned, standing only inches away from the braided man. "So you don't mind kissing me?"

Duo smiled, feeling his earlier nervousness return. "Hell no. You're a great kisser, Heero. I'd ask who taught you, but I think I'm afraid to hear the answer."

A shy smile appeared on the Asian young man's face. He opened the door and let Duo pass. Yet before he could walk away, Heero grasped his arm, effectively stopping him. Surprised, Duo turned just as Heero leaned forward and gave him a brief kiss on the lips. "Just in case they're watching," he whispered, pulling back and shifting his eyes to indicate he was referring to his nosey neighbors.

Duo felt flushed from that brief contact, which was ridiculous. That brief kiss from Heero had been anything but intimate, so why did it feel like so much more? Both young men bid each other a friendly good night and parted ways.

The ride home passed by more quickly than usual for Duo, his thoughts focused on his deal with Heero. In the back of his mind, a small worried voice was telling him that this was a big mistake. He'd fallen head over heels for Heero during the war. It had been more than simple crush or lust, though the attraction he felt towards his comrade had been ridiculously overwhelming at times. He'd always admired Heero, respected and craved to be close to him and to have his approval, but he was also totally bewildered by his stoicism and reserve. Heero Yuy was a hard guy to read and understand. Relena had also been a wrench in the works. She had pursued Heero all over Earth and even into space during those turbulent years. He'd come to the conclusion that here was no way he could ever compete with someone like that, a girl who had everything and was as devoted to peace as Heero was. Through two wars and the years following, he'd wisely kept his feelings to himself, seeing that Heero showed no inclination of returning his feelings or that he was sexually inclined towards men. Finally, reason overcame his heart and he'd eventually, reluctantly, given up any pursuit of Heero Yuy other than friendship.

His apartment was dark and chilly when he entered his living room and the lack of warmth didn't help to lighten his doubtful mood. He turned on all the lights, put on some upbeat music and turned his attention to getting ready for bed. While brushing his teeth he once again turned his thoughts to the next day and his and Heero's planned deception, going over all the details, picturing them in his mind, and anticipating the attention Heero would be giving him. It might all be an act, but Duo decided that he was going to soak in all the close contact, every physical touch and kiss that their acting like a couple would bring.

Once in bed he found it difficult to fall asleep. He blamed the lack of drowsiness on his anticipation for the next day, similar to how he felt just before beginning a battle, an infiltration mission or setting off explosives. But what was he so excited about that it robbed him of his sleep? He tried very hard to convince himself that the reason for his excitment was because he and Heero would finally get everyone off his back about dating their sister, cousin or a really "sweet" neighbor by acting like a couple. It was not, he told himself firmly, because the idea of kissing Heero again set his heart to racing and revived a buried hope for something more. Tomorrow, he thought with a sleepy yawn, everything would change, and hopefully for the better.

on to part 3

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